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Ford sees chance to woo Japanese buyers

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quality, safe, smart and green,”

Rubbish, unsafe, dumb & not green at all is how american cars are percieved. Remember the Ford Explorer roll overs of a few years ago? Ford tried to blame bridgestone tyres for that.................what a joke.

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Ford has improved quite a bit over the years but so have all automakers. There's no doubt that all automakers can make a solid car now that'll last you ten years if properly serviced.

Ford doesn't realize that it's good ol fashion nationalism that keeps Ford in it's place here in Japan. Japanese people don't do much research when shopping for a new car. Nor do they have the time.

I believe it takes 6 months of good research to buy a car. I've done so in the past and I've always found that one car that goes beyond the customer's expectations.

Japanese automakers aren't offering much. When the new Prius came out of course I rushed out to see it. I sat down at the sales table and asked him to write up a couple quotes for me with different options. They jack the price up EVERY time.

I believe the best car for your buck is Mazda. They sell solid package deals that don't have you asking for more plus you still save money. Try comparing a Honda Accord vs a Mazda Atenza. The specs are almost exactly the same but the price....well you already know the answer.

I'm not sure if Ford and Mazda are still joined at the hip but that may be the only reason Ford is still alive to function here in Japan.

We shouldn't be talking about Ford though. Where's Holden? Give me one of those!! I want a Holden!!! Now that's plenty of car for your buck. I've never seen a Holden here.

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The "remodeled" Explorer. Does that mean they made a right-side drive for export? Or that it is a smaller, less guzzly version for export? Surely Ford has something more suitable for Japan in it's line-up than that monster. Why wouldn't they be drawing attention to that?

Although Ford has been making some progress in quality in recent years, I expect German cars will continue to dominate the import business here.

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The problem is pricing. Sure, the image of American cars is that they're massive gas guzzling behemoths, but I think people in Japan can still appreciate that for it's luxury appeal. Problem is, would the average Japanese consumer be willing to fork out 5 million or so yen for an average Ford Explorer versus say, a Nissan Xtrail, with similar creature comforts and arguably better performance, which goes for around 2.5 million yen?

Holden's are nice. Owned by GM though. Personally, I'd rather get one of those new Cameros than a Commodore.

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Only a non-domestic manufacturer without a solid grasp on how business is done here would come out and publicize the fact that they see a tremendous opportunity to increase their market share and profile in Japan as a result of a competitor's misfortune resulting from such an unprecedented disaster...

It's one thing to ramp up promotion and production to try to fill the gap and "absorb" some share of the market not being fulfilled by manufacturers hit by this disaster - it's another to celebrate and promote it as a good opportunity to take advantage...

This will win them no long term solutions to their domestic market woes... especially at 5m yen for product that is already available for near 1/2 the price...

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European Ford's products (S-Max, Focus, Fiesta etc.) are a perfect match for the Japanese market, but both Mr Tucker and his predecessor Randy Krieger are only interested in pushing overpriced, substandard and utterly inappropriate US market gas-guzzlers like the Explorer. Guys, take a look around. This ain't Kansas. Or maybe Tucker is right. Perhaps Tohoku's survivors really can't wait replace the 250,000 vehicles lost to the Tsunami (mostly mini-vans, kei cars and kei trucks BTW) with 5M Yen behemoths such as this. Perhaps.

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Besides Japan car culture, except for car enthusiasts, goes for smaller vehicles that are easy on the fuel usage. How many SUVs do you see on the roads that are not luxury such as MB, Porsche, BMW?

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! please stay away from Japan. Enough damage has been done!!!! Ford will be the nail in the coffin and when everyones cars break after 6 months the entire economy will crumble becuase every one went broke fixing their Fix Or Repair Daily (f.o.r.d) cars.

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If Japanese are going to buy foreign, it will be a Benz or a Beamer.

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Wasting their time. American cars are crap compared to the Japanese ones. As said, if they are going to buy foreign, it certainly won't be crappy, big American cars.

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Found On Road Dead, Fix Or Repair Daily, that's what Ford stands for. Japanese people, please, take the advice of us N. Americans who have had to live with shoddy quality of car companies that needed to be bailed out cause their cars are just one word away from what you dump into a toilet. Stay away, believe me and you'll thank me later. Well, unless, you're considering to buy a Dodge pickup truckup, of course, those things are almost indestructible, but then again, you don't really need those in Japan. Get bicycles, people, when the world run out of gas, you can still pedal out of there.

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There's enough crap cars produced by Japanese makers as it is. Why would people here want to buy something that was Found On a Rubbish Dump or needs to be Fixed Or Repaired Daily?

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Only a non-domestic manufacturer without a solid grasp on how business is done here would come out and publicize the fact that they see a tremendous opportunity to increase their market share and profile in Japan as a result of a competitor's misfortune resulting from such an unprecedented disaster...

You've really hit the nail on the head, Fredster. And Driveon's follow-up comment is bang on as well.

If I were a Ford shareholder, I think I'd be calling for a replacement Japan CEO.

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"Ford sees a chance to woo Japanese customers" ... as in waste a lot of money thinking they can compete here. Ten years ago Ford wasted several million US dollars bringing the Ford KA to Japan. It was supposed to be "the small car that makes Ford a success in Japan." Ended up offering only a manual transmission. Think they sold about 200 of them. Literally 200 vehicles!

Ford has no clue that the only people who buy Ford here are people who want to own a piece of "Americana." Want to dream they are driving down the Coastal Highway in California... or Route 66. No one, NO ONE, in Japan buys a Ford because they think it is a better vehicle that anything else out there. Because they aren't better vehicles. But even if we assume for a moment that Ford vehicles are just as good as the domestic (or other foreign) makes, why would you want to pay 50% more for it?

Until Ford understands why people buy their vehicles, and begins to markeet them as such (see Harley Davidson!!!!), they will continue to "see chances to lose a lot of money here."

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Not a Ford fan, or a fan of American cars in general, but I wouldn't mind having the latest Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. Now that is just one badass truck.

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In the car trade these are not called a Ford Explorer, we call em a Ford Exploder.

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Nice Plan.

But with the current economy and job insecurity I can't see many people forking over 4.4-5.3M for ANY car.

As was said something smaller and more affordable is needed. European makers I think will be doing well over the next Year.

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I believe that several of the Ford bashers in this commentary ribbon are perceiving Ford in the same way that Americans perceived Hondas and Toyotas back in 1980 -- only to realize that Hondas and Toyotas were not jokes, but in fact practical, reliable, automobiles that consumers want to own.

I have owned two Japanese cars in my life, a Toyota and a Subaru -- both fine vehicles. For years, I have shunned Ford. However, Ford has advanced significantly in quality and I am now leaning toward Ford for my next vehicle. Ford has closed the quality gap with the Japanese automakers, but I believe that the market will have to see a longer track record from Ford products before embracing them.

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MUSTANG, Love the Ford Mustang.

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mrsynik at 02:45 PM JST - 25th May. Wasting their time. American cars are crap compared to the Japanese ones. As said, if they are going to buy foreign, it certainly won't be crappy, big American cars.

This was true in the past but not the reality of today. Ford really makes good cars. The new Ford Focus is certified by the EPA at 40 mpg highway with a six-speed automatic transmission. Ford now has four models with an EPA rating of 40 mpg or higher, more than any other full-line manufacturer. This is perfect for minature Japan roads. The Japan goverment should waive all the bogus import duty tax and inspection and sell at same price as it is sold in U.S.

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"a long-difficult market"

It sure has been, for Ford. I rarely see Ford vehicles on the streets in Japan.

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I read somewhere that the 2002 Ford Explorer is the most stolen car in America.

Guess what I drive?

Taka

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Taka313

Are you sure it's still parked outside? : )

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USNinJapan,

Considering the mileage I've put on ol' Duke, I'm not all that worried about it getting stolen. It's been a great car to me though.

Taka

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